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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Under the Christmas Tree for You!

Here's a little present for you from Gertrude Stein. Hang it on your bulletin board and repeat it to anyone who questions why you are indignant about getting rejected:

"It is a very strange feeling when one is loving a clock that is to every one of your class of living an ugly and a foolish one and one really likes such a thing and likes it very much and liking it is a serious thing, or one likes a colored handkerchief that is very gay and every one of your kind of living thinks it a very ugly or a foolish thing and thinks you like it because it is a funny thing to like it and you like it with a serious feeling, or you like eating something and liking it is a childish thing to every one or your like something that is a dirty thing and no one can really like that thing or you write a book and while you write it you are ashamed, you know you will be laughed at or pitied by every one and you have a queer feeling and you are not very certain and you go on writing. Then some one says yes to it, to something you are liking, or doing or making and then never again can you have completely such a feeling of being afraid and ashamed that you had then when you were writing or liking the thing and not any one had said yes about the thing.”*

May you each get a Literary Yes (or two) wrapped up this season to wash away all writerly fear and shame.

*As quoted in Two Lives by Janet Malcolm (Yale University Press, 2007)

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